It's funny, but I thought about the F4U after I'd posted that. Still, it would have interesting to see the look on a FW190 pilot's face when the F6F absorbed a volley and kept on fighting.
Anyway...back into the breach.
The comment I made originally wasn't even meant to infer that we "saved" you. I was merely suggesting that it would seem difficult (to me, at least) to have a lot of pride in your country if it's been occupied several times throughout history.
You're right about our "backyard". We haven't had much to deal with since Mexico in the 1840s and Spain (Cuba) in the 1890s. Geographic isolation for the win, although, during World War II, citzens along the east coast had to turn off their lights at night so the German U-Boats couldn't get a solid fix on their own wherabouts. My dad used to sit in the second story porch at night in Brunswick, GA watching the lights move back and forth a few hundred yards from shore.
Luckily, Canadians are a peaceful lot, whose days are spent wrestling grizzly bears and smoking pot. The only time they get restless is during the hockey playoffs.
And as for Mexico, well they're content to take over through illegal immigration.
What I think you fail to recognize is the fact that America has been called upon to shoulder the load in most wars. Your perspective has been skewed by this latest conflict in Iraq. We went into this one without UN support, so you assume that we've always taken the stance of aggressor. However, we've generally been involved in conflicts that have arisen due to involvement in UN operations. Somalia. The First Gulf War. Korea.
Hell, it took the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor to get us into World War II. Churchill pleaded with Roosevelt to get involved, but until we were attacked, public sentiment was against it.
I have a book, whose title I can't remember, but it is a fascinating timeline of the history of war. It dates back to the dawn of civilization and chronicles each war up until a few years ago. You'll be surprised to find that people around the world are capable of, and have been, fighting their own wars without us.
As for things to be proud of, I have many.
This is the land of opportunity. If you can get beyond the racial demagogues, you'll find that people from all over the world are able to come here with very little and find success. While I am ashamed of the governments' response (federal, state and local) to hurricane Katrina, I am awed by the generosity shown to its victims by the American people.
We were the first to fly, powered as well as non-stop across the Atlantic and to the moon. The world would be a pretty boring place without Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy, not to mention Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the Coyote and Roadrunner. We invented the blues, jazz and rock & roll.
Robert Johnson, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Americans.
Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Bobby Darin. Americans.
Patsy Cline, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James and Madonna. Americans.
The Super Bowl and the Rose, Bowl and Parade.
Disneyland and DisneyWorld.
Sue me. I'm proud of my country.